Professor Jim Skea CBE FRSE FEI HonFSE
Please note that Jim Skea is no longer accepting applications from prospective PhD students.
Professor Jim Skea is currently Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He was previously Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group III which covers the mitigation of climate change, i.e. methods for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and enhancing atmospheric sinks.
Jim co-led the IPCC’s landmark Special Reports on “Global Warming of 1.5 °C” (2018) and “Climate Change and Land” (2019) and the 2022 Report on the Mitigation of Climate Change, and was a co-author of the 2023 Sixth Assessment Synthesis Report.
He began contributing to the work of the IPCC shortly after it was created in the 1990s. He has served as a member of the Bureau since 2008 – first as Working Group III Vice-Chair and as Working Group III Co-Chair from 2015.
Jim has strong links to policy processes. He was a founding member of the UK's Committee on Climate Change. He was previously a member of the Commission on Environmental Markets and Economic Performance and acted as Launch Director for the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership. He was President of the Energy Institute from 2015 to 2017. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh.
He currently chairs Scotland's Just Transition Commission, which makes recommendations on how to make a fair and equitable transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland.
From 2012 to 2017, Jim was Research Councils UK Energy Strategy Fellow. The Fellowship was established in response to recommendations from the International Review of Energy Research undertaken by the Research Councils in 2010. There were two roles: the synthesis of a Prospectus to explore research, skills and training needs across the energy landscape; and a related research programme focusing on the effectiveness of systems of energy innovation internationally. The Prospectus was launched in November 2013. A book based on the research programme, Energy Innovation for the 21st century: Accelerating the Energy Revolution, was published by Edward Elgar in September 2019.
Until 2012, Jim was Research Director of the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC). He led the UKERC Phase I Energy 2050 project, which led to publication of the book Energy 2050: Making the transition to a secure low-carbon energy system. He has also published recently on indicators for assessing energy innovation, the impact of intermittent renewables on electricity generation, security of gas supply and UK, Japanese and German responses to the Fukushima accident.
Jim has particular research interests in energy, climate change and technological innovation. He has always worked in interdisciplinary settings and has previously been Director of the Policy Studies Institute, Director of the Economic and Social Research Council's Global Environmental Change Programme, Professorial Fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit, Sussex University, and Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA. He has held the appointment as Professor of Sustainable Energy at Imperial College London’s Centre for Environmental Policy since 2009.
He has been awarded two high-level UK honours: an OBE for services to sustainable transport in 2004, and a CBE for services to sustainable energy in 2013.
Rhodes A, Skea J, Hannon M, 2014, The global surge in energy innovation, Energies, Vol:7, ISSN:1996-1073, Pages:5601-5623
et al., 2014, Remaking the UK's energy technology innovation system: From the margins to the mainstream, Energy Policy, Vol:68, ISSN:0301-4215, Pages:591-602
Skea J, 2014, The renaissance of energy innovation, Energy & Environmental Science, Vol:7, ISSN:1754-5692, Pages:21-24